In March, the class actions against Uber were abandoned when the rideshare giant agreed to a near $272 million settlement to compensate taxi and hire car drivers who lost out when they moved into the Australian market.

The Supreme Court of Victoria will hold a hearing later this year to determine whether to approve the proposed settlement.

It’s the fifth-largest class action settlement in Australia’s history and comes five years after the actions on behalf of more than 8,000 taxi and hire car owners and drivers was launched.

The drivers and car owners lost income and licence values because of Uber’s ‘aggressive’ arrival into the market.

The first-class action had been brought by Nicos Andrianakis, who was a taxi driver, operator and licence owner in Melbourne.

Andrianakis brought the action on his own behalf and on behalf of all other taxi and hire car/limousine/charter vehicle drivers, operators and licence owners as well as taxi network service providers in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

The second-class action was the Salem Proceeding.

Neos Kosmos has become aware of the proposed settlement detailed by the Supreme Court of Victoria.

According to the proposal, the court will hold a hearing on September 9 to 10 to see if the settlement will be approved, while on July 25, there will be a sitting to deal with administrative matters.

It is not yet known how much the court will approve to be deducted from the settlement sum for legal costs, funding costs, settlement administration costs and reimbursement payments to the plaintiffs and sample group members.

Managing Director of Southern Cross Chauffeur Drive, George Kapnias told Neos Kosmos that he has received information from Maurice Blackburn lawyers that $37m will go to the law firm and an additional $82m to overseas donors in England.

An Uber sign is displayed inside a car. Lawsuits against Uber claimed the US giant began illegally operating ride sharing in Australia to gain an unfair advantage over competitors. Photo: AAP via AP/Nam Y. Huh

That total of $119m including some additional costs would then only see half of the settlement reach the 8,000 drivers.

“As far as Maurice Blackburn is concerned, they’ve basically taken advantage of us,” he said.

“They saw that the industry wasn’t well represented, and they put the whole thing together.

“The losers are not only the drivers, it is also the state governments that have given up a respectable source of income, as Victoria currently sells licenses for only $57 a year.”

Government issued licenses used to be around half a million.

He said by 2014 standards, if Uber tried to operate in accordance with the law, with $272 million it could only buy 560 taxi licenses in Melbourne.

Kapnias also argues that with the tactics they practiced, they have managed to have over 100,000 drivers/cars.

“Everyone who has been harmed will receive very little and at the same time, lawyers, financiers and Uber itself, as Harry Klynn used to say, will eat lobsters, black caviar and drink old wine.”

Kapnias has been involved in the industry since 1989, and his family since 1961. He was 46-years-old when Uber entered the market while others were in their 70s or newly retirees.

“There were other people who had driven their cab for 40 years, paid it off, done everything, followed the rules, followed the laws, did everything right, paid their taxes and retired on the basis that they had some sort of potential for an ongoing income.”

“My concern is largely for the generation Greek migrants who got their licence in the sixties and seventies and then retired between 2010-2014.

“I know personally people who did that and then weeks or months later they are denuded of their lifetime efforts.”